Cedarcrest got off to a slow start offensively, up just 13-10 at the end of the first eight minutes of action last night.
But the team heated up in the second quarter to take a 30-19 score into the locker room at intermission.
The five-minute break showed no ill effect on the Red Wolves as coach Joe Ayers squad exploded for 24 third-quarter points.
Cedarcrest posted 11 points over the final eight minutes to the Wildcats 10 and the Red Wolves turned back Archbishop Murphy 55-43 to advance to the second round of the District playoffs.
"We were pretty cold from behind the arc in the first half hitting only 1-of-11 shots, but our defense was making sure Murphy was unable to take advantage of our poor shooting," Ayers said. "We knew those shots were going to start to fall if we kept shooting. In the third quarter, we started to heat up with Nicolo hitting four straight to come out of the locker room. Shawn (Deming) joined in with two more to help us build an 11 point lead. Before the quarter was done we ended up with seven 3s."
With his team up by a healthy margin headed into the final eight minutes of the game, Ayers wanted the boys to focus on clock management.
"That has been something that we have been inconsistent with over the season, so it was nice to see our senior guards led by Brennan Mallot be able to make sure we were making good decisions especially down the last stretch," he said. "I was really proud of the determination of the boys tonight. Their defense was strong the whole game."
Nicolo Cammarano sank seven buckets from beyond the arc to lead the Red Wolves offensive output with 24 points. Demming added 8 points, Mallot hit for 7. Cameron Brady finished with 6 points.
Cedarcrest matches up with Lynden at Lynden High School in second-round action Saturday. The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start.